Split tips are a small but very annoying injury that can end a day out climbing for all but the most hardcore climbers. There are ways to help aid the repair of a split tip as well as prevent them happening in the first place; and although you wouldn’t think it even the gnarliest of boulderers has more hand care products than Paris Hilton.
First a split tip, isn’t a cut or graze to the tip, but a weakness in the skin cause often through excessive climbing on small crimps and sharp holds. This tear in the skin to the sub-dermal layer, is both painful and bloody; and once you fingers have split, they often split again and again in the same place. To avoid this happening in the first place you can sand all the skin down on the finger pad after each session you stop any line of weakness occurring.
As well as sanding you need to get a good hand cream, so something with Aloe Vera, vitamin A and E, anything aimed at repairing and moisturising skin. Many climber have there own preferred brand, however Climb on Cream/Bars are a good start if you don’t fancy braving the hand care section of Boots.
In the event of a tip splitting there are several remedy’s, the first is to get some super glue, and glue it back together, this ‘patching up’ will often allow the day to be extended. I know many people will think I am crazy, but super glue was apparently designed for emergency surgery in Vietnam, as such it can easily stick skin together.
In order to cure it as quickly as possible, try avoiding really fingery problems for a while, but also really go to town on the sanding down the pad, it is extremely painful, but unless you get the whole finger pad down to the level of the split then the weakness will stay there. Again skin care products in association with this are critical. It will often take several days of sanding and moisturising to repair.
By the end of it your friends will be looking at you filling away at your finger tips thinking you’ve gone mad. However the damage we cause our hands through tiny holds and the drying effect of chalk, you’ll need to start looking after your hands if they are to do us justice.